REPORT FROM THE HONOLULU MAYOR’S OFFICE —Mayor Peter Carlisle and Nagaoka, Japan Mayor Tamio Mori today signed an agreement establishing a sister-city relationship between the two communities.
“Nagaoka is a beautiful city, and we’re very proud to finalize this relationship and bring our people closer together,” Carlisle said. “This is a wonderful way to encourage cultural exchanges and promote international peace and understanding.”
Mayor Carlisle visited Nagaoka last year and witnessed the city’s spectacular annual Grand Fireworks Festival. Nagaoka began holding the festival after World War II ended in 1945, to serve as a memorial and symbolize a desire for world peace. Nagaoka was heavily bombed by U.S. forces during the war, and the fireworks festival helped support the city’s reconstruction.
Mayor Mori has encouraged peace-oriented exchanges with Honolulu in recognition of the cities’ wartime experiences. Nagaoka was also the birthplace of Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, who planned Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Yamamoto had earlier cautioned his superiors against war with the United States.
A delegation from Nagaoka attended the Hawaii Sister-Cities Summit in Honolulu last year in preparation for establishing the new relationship with Honolulu.
The mayors signed the sister-city agreement today in Mission Memorial Auditorium, exchanged gifts and enjoyed performances by the Royal Hawaiian Band Glee Club.
Nagaoka is Honolulu’s 28th sister-city, joining Baguio, Philippines; Baku, Azerbaijan; Mumbai, India; Bruyeres, France; Caracas, Venezuela; Cebu, Philippines; Chengdu, China; Funchal, Madeira, Portugal; Haikou, China; Hiroshima, Japan; Hue, Vietnam; Incheon, Korea; Kaohsiung, Taiwan; Laoag City, Philippines; Manila, Philippines; Majuro Atoll, Marshall Islands; Mombasa, Kenya; Naha, Okinawa, Japan; Qinghuangdao, China; Rabat, Morocco; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Seoul, Korea; Sintra, Portugal; Tokyo, Japan; Uwajima, Japan; Vigan, Philippines; and Zhongshan, China.